I don’t have the time to worry!
– Winston Churchill’s on how he copes with worry and stress
The remedy for worry and all the stress that follows is to get busy with something constructive.
I’m listening to Dale Carnegie’s How to Stop Worrying and Start Living. It’s an amazing audio book. Just as good as How to Win Friends and Influence People. In fact, parts of it are even better and more applicable to my own situation at work and home. If you are going to get either of these books, the audiobooks are better than the print version. The stories really lend themselves well to audio and the narrator is amazing. I subscribe to audible.com with an annual plan making it super cheap as well on a per book basis.
Getting busy with productive work is a key tip from this book for dealing with worry. In fact, keeping busy with anything helps! Here’s a quick exercise to prove my point (adapted from the book):
- Imagine a picture of the Statue of Liberty. Get a nice picture in your mind’s eye. If you need help, here’s a reminder of what she looks like. Gorgeous:
Ok, that’s enough.
It’s an impossible task. You can’t do it. Despite what we think about humans being great at multitasking, when you really focus on something intently, you cannot focus on something else at the same time.
Applying this knowledge you can see how being busy with constructive things can virtually eradicate worry. The Army used this knowledge to help integrate soldiers coming home from WWII and dealing with severe mental stress, by keeping them productive and busy with public works projects.
We can apply the same tactic to deal with the stresses of life.
Just sitting around at home (or work or school) in boredom is a recipe for trouble.
Find a hobby. Exercise. Read more. Start a blog. Take a new class. Start a project. Write a letter. Clean your house or better yet, purge your home of useless stuff. Do something constructive.
Get busy. Keep busy.
Now it’s time for me to go get busy eating my dinner! Tonight is tofu stir-fry over noodles.